Editor’s Blog: It’s all about the innovation

November 16, 2013

You have to walk away from an OIS meeting like this and tell yourself how amazing it is to have great minds developing devices and drugs that will elevate clinical care for ophthalmic patients-and at the end of the day will make physicians’ job easier and better.

New Orleans-The 5th annual Ophthalmology Innovation Summit (OIS) delivered in New Orleans this week! There was a record number of attendees-more than 800, with a solid program covering a wide range of topics and issues, and there was plenty of dialogue outside the ballroom among the attendees from all segments of the ophthalmic market.

However, the big attraction to this meeting, and it always has been, is the innovation. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist, or even an ophthalmologist with a background in engineering, to appreciate the opportunities that were presented at this year’s OIS meeting.

You have to walk away from a meeting like this and tell yourself how amazing it is to have great minds developing devices and drugs that will elevate clinical care for ophthalmic patients­-and at the end of the day will make physicians’ job easier and better.

Some of most interesting innovations presented were the devices. A lot of the issues that physicians face in clinic could easily become a thing of the past as these devices come to market. In fact, some are already available.

Notal Vision’s ForeseeHome, a home telemonitoring device, detects and characterizes visual distortion in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) patients. The device monitors their progression so it doesn’t lead to choroidal neovascularization (CNV).

Clarity Medical is launching its HOLOS intraOp, a continuous, real-time intra-operative aberrometer for cataract and refractive surgery. The launch is this week at the AAO meeting in New Orleans.

Another surgical monitoring device is the WaveTec Vision’s ORA System with VerifEye. Launched this summer, the VerifEye monitoring system is used by surgeons to improve the accuracy of cataract surgery.

Refocus Group presented its Refocus Implant that is used in an extra-ocular procedure to restore near vision. The implant is in a pivotal IDE clinical trial in the United States, but it has a CE Mark in Europe.

PowerVision offered a looked at its FluidVision accommodating IOL for restoration of "true" vision accommodation. The lens utilizes natural forces within the eye to displace fluid in the lens through internal channels, thus changing the shape and increasing or decreasing the power of the lens.

Another accommodating IOL was Akkolens International’s Lumina, an intraocular dual-element accommodating lens. Made of a hydrophilic acrylic material, the lens is an implanted within the ciliary muscle and offers near, intermediate, and distance vision.

A very interesting innovation along the lines of IOLs was Clarity Medical’s Harmoni Modular Intra-Ocular Lens System. Called the “first fully tailorable IOL,” the Harmoni is implanted in two pieces and the technology is said to provide versatility to the physician and “superior outcomes” for patients.

Sennsimed AG presented a glaucoma management device, called Triggerfish, which monitors IOP through a soft disposable silicone contact lens embedded with a micro-sensor. The device provides 24-hour monitoring of IOP in patients with glaucoma.

While this wrap-up offers only a small snapshot of these innovations, the word and talk regarding these innovations are sure to surface this week, either at the podium or on the floor of the exhibit hall, at the AAO meeting. I am positive the details of their features and possibilities will peak interest.

Since most of the innovations are still in clinical trials, it’s incredible to witness where ophthalmology is evolving as a specialty. Thanks to the OIS meeting for bringing it together for the ophthalmic market to view!

 

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